According to a new YouGov survey, carried out for Home-Start UK, over half of us don’t realise just how many families are struggling with more than one problem.

We asked Home-Start supporters on Facebook and Twitter why they thought people were so unaware of the numbers of families dealing with multiple issues.

Jaime wrote that she think that “there is still an element of shame in admitting to others, even those closest to you that you aren't coping. So many of us have been told to put on a brave face - it's embedded in British culture - the stiff upper-lip, 'keep calm and carry on”.

But, as Jaime suggests, it doesn’t have to be like this. “As soon as we do start engaging with each other properly we quickly realise we are all in the same boat.”

A previous study by Home-Start UK and YouGov showed that around two-thirds of parents believed being perceived as a ‘bad parent’ was the worst criticism a mother or father could imagine receiving.

This was backed up by Suzanne who said “[P]eople are afraid to ask in case you are seen as a failure, I know I didn't ask for help when I could have had it.”

Helen added that “Fear of failure and judgement from other parents, friends and family and professionals will stop some coming forward.”

Several contributors felt that changes in communities were a big factor behind our lack of awareness.

Lesley wrote, “[C]ommunities don't interact in the same way they used to in the past, so you can live beside a family for years and not even realise their struggle let alone try to understand the reasons.”

For us, this is why the work of Home-Start volunteers is so important. Across the country 18,422 volunteers in 288 local organisations are providing 29,170 families with non-judgemental, confidential support. Home-Start support is available to all families whatever their background and need.